Despite previous reports suggesting Mike Stoops was about to join his brother at Kentucky, it appears Stoops will instead be staying put at Alabama. Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops confirmed his older brother would not be heading to Lexington and has decided to remain on the staff at Alabama.
Stoops has been a defensive analyst for Nick Saban, and he will continue to hold that role with the Crimson Tide.
“I tried to hire my brother Mike and get him on staff and that’s not going to work out, by his choice,” Mark Stoops said, according to Kentucky Sports Radio.
As stated by the head coach of Kentucky, Mike Stoops apparently enjoys his current position at Alabama and may see better opportunities to come if he stays put.
“Mike chose to stay, he likes what he’s doing, the learning he’s doing and the work he’s doing with [Nick Saban] at Alabama,” Mike Stoops added. “Mike’s a big picture guy, so the timing of this position and the capacity that it is, he decided to stay there and continue to recalibrate himself to come back as a coordinator, so he decided to stay.”
Mark Stoops is continuing to look to fill his tenth assistant coaching spot on the staff in Lexington.
It looks as though another member of Nick Saban‘s ensemble of analysts is about to get back onto a sideline. Mike Stoops is reportedly close to heading to Kentucky, where he would take on an assistant coaching position for his brother, Mark Stoops.
A report by Football Scoop on Wednesday says Mike Stoops is expected to take on a portion of the defensive secondary coaching responsibilities for the Wildcats. He would be sharing those duties with Steve Clinkscale, who will also be adding the title of pass game coordinator for Kentucky, according to Football Scoop.
Stoops coached defensive backs throughout his coaching career, beginning in 1991 with Iowa and continuing in 1997 at Kansas State. After two seasons coaching the defensive backs for Kansas State and taking on the role of co-defensive coordinator, Stoops headed to Oklahoma, where he was a member of his older brother Bob Stoops‘ staff. Mike stoops was named the head coach of Arizona after the 2003 season and coached the Pac-10 (at the time) program for eight seasons. He returned to Oklahoma in 2012 and stayed with the Sooners for seven seasons before Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley moved in a new direction with his defensive staff.
Stoops then surfaced at Alabama taking on a role as a defensive analyst for Saban. As tends to be the case, analysts working for the Crimson Tide find ways back to coaching after a brief step away from coaching.
The addition of Stoops to the Kentucky staff is expected to be awaiting official approval from the school’s board of trustees, which is why Kentucky officials have not commented on the potential staff addition in Lexington.
Monday morning started off with Oklahoma officially announcing the dismissal of defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, news that started to break Sunday evening. Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley has promoted assistant head coach and defensive tackles coach Ruffin McNeill to the role of defensive coordinator for the remainder of the 2018 season. Defensive specialist Bob Diaco will take on the role of outside linebackers coach.
“I have great respect for Mike,” Riley said in a released statement. “He’s a quality football coach, great man and a close friend. It became time for a change in our program and that happens sometimes in football, but we cannot lose sight of the accomplishments Mike had at Oklahoma. He was responsible for a lot of success and deserves the gratitude of everyone associated with Sooner football, not only for his role in the winning, but for coaching with integrity.”
McNeill has previous defensive coordinator experience with UNLV, Fresno State, Texas Tech. Diaco is also a former defensive coordinator at Cincinnati and Notre Dame under Brian Kelly as well as Nebraska.
“Ruffin has an impressive résumé,” Riley said. “That’s why I wanted him on our staff in the first place. I have confidence in his knowledge and leadership. Bob has a lot of experience in very good programs and also has a list of accomplishments that will help him step in and make an immediate impact. We are fortunate to have these men in our program. They’ll be ready to get to work in new roles right away.”
Stoops was fired after this weekend’s loss to Texas, a 48-45 setback in the Red River Rivalry that saw Oklahoma’s defense once again continue to struggle to get a hold of the game. Although Oklahoma has an offense that is more than capable of leading the Sooners to a Big 12 championship and a possible spot in the College Football Playoff, Oklahoma’s biggest shortcomings in recent years seem to come back to defensive issues, including last season’s regular-season loss to Iowa State and the Rose Bowl playoff loss to Georgia.
Stoops, of course, was one of many assistant coaches who remained in the Oklahoma coaching staff during a head coaching transition last year when Mike’s brother Bob Stoops suddenly retired and handed the program over to Riley. Once Bob Stoops retired, it was fair to wonder just how long Riley would stand by the defensive coordinator that has commonly been a target for criticism when things go wrong for the Sooners.
Following a second straight SEC East Division championship in just its third year in the SEC, Missouri has extended the contract of head coach Gary Pinkel and rewarded him with a nice bump in pay. Pinkel’s contract has been extended through 2021 with a guaranteed salary of $4.02 million.
The investment in Pinkel seems to have been a long time coming, as Pinkel may have exceeded many expectations for Missouri since making the transition from the Big 12 to the SEC.
Pinkel was hired by Missouri in 2001 after a successful stint at Toledo. Since arriving in Columbia, Pinkel is 113-66 with six bowl victories, including three in the last four seasons. After going 5-7 in Missouri’s first season in the SEC after leaving the Big 12, Pinkel coached Missouri to two consecutive SEC East Division championships and appearances in the SEC Championship Game.
If you are wondering how many coaches are left in the SEC not receiving $4 million, the number is apparently down to four; Jim McElwain (Florida), Derek Mason (Vanderbilt), Mike Stoops (Kentucky) and Butch Jones (Tennessee).
When LSU saw John Chavis leave the Tigers to take on the role of defensive coordinator at Texas A&M, a high-profile vacancy opened up at the SEC program in Baton Rouge. A former SEC defensive coordinator has now been connected as a possible target; Penn State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop.
Shoop, who left Vanderbilt for Penn State when James Franklin was hired by the Nittany Lions, will interview “soon” for the job at LSU according to a report published by The Advocate, citing an anonymous source close to the coaching search. The report goes on to suggest Shoop has some enthusiasm about the possibility of a return to the SEC.
Penn State’s bright spot this season was Shoop’s defense. While the offense may have been hampered by the impact of recruiting restrictions under NCAA sanctions, the defense more often than not was the reason Penn State even managed to play in a bowl game in 2014. Penn State ranked seventh in the nation in defensive scoring and second in total defense this season. In a division that has seen offenses start to open things up, LSU could stand to see improvement on the defensive side of the football, although LSU’s defensive numbers were right in the same territory as Pen State this season in those two particular stats.
LSU has also reportedly shown interest in Oklahoma’s Mike Stoops, who has just been demoted on the staff. LSU defensive line coach Brick Haley and Alabama linebackers coach Kevin Steele have also been mentioned as potential candidates for the job at LSU.